Monday, 30 August 2010

Sorry, but I'm closing down!

Hello, everyone.

I have been really ill with a chest infection and have had two courses of antibiotics, neither of which have worked. I feel very guilty for not having written my blog for so many weeks so have decided to close it down. Hopefully when I feel better I will start it up again.

Thank you for reading my blog so far and also for your lovely comments.

With very good wishes to you all.

Maureen Lee

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

One Day Late

My friend, Margaret, read my blog the other day. You don't mention Paul, she emailed later. David is our eldest son who we meet often and Patrick, who frequently comes to stay, is the youngest. Paul is in the middle, but he lives in Colchester so we see him a few times a week. We would never ignore Paul.

Margaret and I met fifty years ago when we both worked in the typing pool of the English Electric Company in Liverpool. We decided life was terribly boring and that we would hitch hike round the continent together. Such adventures were frowned upon in those days. 'If you leave this house,' my mother told me, 'you needn't think you're coming back.'

Regardless of this, Margaret and I resigned from the English Electric and hitch hiked from Liverpool to Dover, travelling one part of the journey on top of a load of beer crates on the back of a lorry. We went by ferry to France and then hitched to Paris where we looked for work but didn't find any. We had little money and ate nothing but French bread for a fortnight before hitching as far as Lyons, meaning to go as far as Nice or Cannes. Instead, we got a lift to Geneva, found work as shorthand typists in the United Nations where we stayed for two months, then with another branch of the United Nations in Rome. They actually flew us there and we stayed in Rome for three months having our bottoms pinched by young Roman men. We eventually learned to pinch them back.

The wages were fabulous, three or times as much as back in Liverpool. I had remained on speaking, or at least letter-writing terms with my mother. As soon as she was told how much I was earning, she felt able to boast about my achievements whereas before she'd been ashamed.
And she let me in when I went home.

Have just watched a programme about The Andrews Sisters on television. I like watching these sort of programmes because I write so much about the second world war when the sisters were very famous. One sister is still alive in her nineties. So many of these real life stories have terribly sad endings. The sisters split up as they grew older and went their own ways. In the end, they almost hated each other. Yes, really sad.

Will go now. Hope everyone is well and happy. Good night.

Monday, 28 June 2010

Monday, 28th June

I have lost a friend. I used to have seven but one has disappeared off the face of the earth and now I only have six. What did I do wrong? Was I too dull? Quite a few people email and want to be my friend on facebook, but I'm not on facebook and can't tell them that because the email won't accept replies.

What wonderful weather we are having! If only I had young skin and could wear a strappy sundress but I daren't expose my arms because they're old arms, all saggy with bones protruding all over the place. I can actually remember a time when I wore shorts. That was before I had children and purple veins exploded all over my legs.

Being old(ish!) brings along wonderful memories though. The other day my friend Audrey telephoned out of the blue. We had really exciting times when we were young. Now this might not seem exciting to you, but when we were young we went to the theatre in Liverpool and saw Michael Redgrave, Googie Withers and Sam Wannamaker in a play. We hung around outside the stage door afterwards in the hope of seeing Sam but he didn't appear. The other two did and we followed them as they strolled along Lime Street to the Adelphi Hotel. Googie wore the most incredible coat that must have cost the lives of many hundred minks. Mind you, these days I wouldn't wear a real fur coat for anything.

At that time, the Adelphi Hotel was to Liverpool what the Ritz or the Dorchester are to London. We stayed there earlier this year, just for the experience. It was cheaper than all the other present day hotels, the Holiday Inns and the Rennaissances. It was a rather sad experience because it was so run down and we wished we hadn't gone.

There has been a shout and a cup of tea is waiting for me downstairs, so off I go. I am going to make this a weekly blog so won't feel guilty for not writing every day. Farewell.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Been Very Busy

I did intend to write a blog every day. I thought it would stretch my imagination, but that would require making things up. I didn't realise my life was quite so uninteresting. What have I done recently that I can tell people? Well, my husband and I went to London again last Saturday to meet our youngest son Patrick who was in London for a few days, but he felt sick, and then my husband felt sick, so we didn't have a meal. Everywhere was terribly crowded and it was cold, much, much too cold for mid June. In the end, Patrick went back to his hotel and Richard and I caught a taxi to Liverpool Street and went home and watched Wallander on television. Has anyone else watched the Swedish version of Wallander - the series has just finished. It's exceptionally good. Although it has subtitles, they are easily read.

Today, the weather is forecast to be hot and sunny and it's lovely outside right now. Also today the budget is being announced. I don't want to stray too far into politics, but the crisis was caused by the banks who are apparently back on their feet again and giving each other massive bonuses. I can't understand why they aren't being forced to repay the loans from the taxpayer before taking any money for themselves.

I have finished altering my latest novel, Au Revoir Liverpool, following my editors' suggestions - I have two editors at the moment. I emailed the manuscript to my publisher yesterday and am thankfully back to working on the novel I am writing now, After the War is Over.

I really enjoy getting letters from the readers of my novels. I have received hundreds and out of them all have received very few that were offensive. One suggested I cut two hundred pages out of The September Girls, and the other threw Lights Out Liverpool across the room when she finished reading it because she didn't like the ending. I had one recently praising all my books except Lime Street Blues which she 'hated'. That hurt far more than the pleasure I felt that she'd enjoyed all the others.

The sun has gone in, I do hope it comes out again soon!


Sunday, 13 June 2010

It went!

So, back to our day out in London. Our first call was at The Crypt of St Martin's in the Fields in Trafalgar Square for a coffee and a Danish pastry. If anyone is ever in the area and wants just a coffee or a full meal, The Crypt is ideal, much preferable to places like Starbucks or Coffee somewhere or other. It is ancient, more than 200 years old, yet has a super modern lift and a really attractive shop where you can do brass rubbings.

This was followed by the cinema where we saw Greenberg with a very downbeat, unsmiling Ben Stiller. It was a family drama and I loved it, but Richard found it boring. No one was murdered or tortured, there were no cowboys in it, there were no plagues, floods, explosions, and the world didn't end. We then went to met our son David and his girlfriend for a meal. David is otherwise known as Joey Negro who deejays all over the world. He has had several records in the top ten of the music charts, but downloading has had a negative effect on that side of his business.

Back in Colchester, we drove from the station wondering if everybody in Colchester had been put to sleep during the afternoon. There was hardly anyone about and the roads were strangely devoid of traffic. It turned out to be the World Cup and England were playing. Poor, poor goalkeeper. That goal will haunt him for the rest of his life. Goodnight.

Another Lost Blog

This isn't going to be very long. Firstly, I have been told my blog is boring. I shouldn't go on about doing the washing and hanging it on the line and stuff like that. Secondly, and this is my own opinion, it does seem a bit arrogant of me to think that the minutieu of my life is of interest to other people. Thirdly, having a blog is irresponsible when you are so utterly useless with computers that you can't guarantee that the damn thing will leave the computer and go to where it's supposed to go. For instance, last night I wrote quite a long blog. We had been to London and I had things to say. But when I'd finished, the blog positively refused to leave the machine. I madly pressed things, but nothing happened. Actually, I had paused writing it halfway through and think the internet switched itself off and when I tried to connect it I cancelled the blog which then went into cyberspace to be read by English speaking aliens. I am now going to send this bit. If it goes, I shall write something else. Cheerio for now.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010


For some reason unable to get through to proper page over weekend to send new blog, but discovered how to find it this morning. Yesterday, went to Ingatestone Library with three fellow writers to give a talk. Not many people there, but all very enthusiastic. Lost sun glasses, only had them a week. Today, like every day, I find I can't work unless I've been out for an hour a so, usually a short walk into town to have a coffee. My favourite is M & S where the coffee comes with a little jug of cream. Halfway down the road it begins to pour down so I get my umbrella from my bag, open it, but forget to close bag in which everything gets soaked. I have A Handbag Full of Rain which is a good title for a novel if one could think of a plot. Tata